Nepal
Swayambhunath

Here you’ll find travel reports about Swayambhunath. Discover travel destinations in Nepal of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

22 travelers at this place:

  • Day5

    Swayambhu Stupa (Monkey Temple)

    April 15, 2017 in Nepal

    I had a great night's sleep and was ready for a day of exploring. We had arranged with our trekking company to have a guided tour of some of the significant sites around Kathmandu. Elizabeth, Reig, Jon and I joined a larger group at about 9:00 am and the 20 of us set off in a large van.

    Our first stop was the Monkey Temple. This is a monument that both Buddhists and Hindus use for prayer. And, you guessed it, it was filled with wild monkeys. The monkeys were a bit disconcerting at first because I wasn't sure if they would be aggressive. We were warned not to bring food as they would try to snatch it away. It turned out the monkeys would get quite close but they weren't aggressive.

    Our guide had a heavy accent so I had a hard time understanding what he was saying about this site. What I gather is that a lotus flower is enshrined in this stupa and has something to do with one of the Buddha's from long ago! Sorry I can be more specific. I'll research this more when I get home.

    Monkey Temple is up high on a hill and has great views of the city.
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  • Day124

    Buddha Park, Kathmandu, Nepal

    October 8, 2015 in Nepal

    After a full afternoon of getting lost in the backstreets surrounding Durbar and Thamel (the main tourist hub), I found myself an unexpectedly free ride to the area of my guest house, Swoyambhu, from an off duty school bus driver with a bus to spare. He dropped me off at the foot of a series of massive staircases which I felt inclined (lol word choice) to climb. Found my way to the top just in time for sunset. The views overlooking the Kathmandu valley speak for themselves.Read more

  • Day1

    From Prague to Kathmandu

    February 14 in Nepal

    Wooow the first day... just imagine you're entering airport to meet people you've never met and you should be their yoga instructor and guidance for 16 days... weird feelings for me.
    At the airport everybody goes by themselves so we (two ladies for organizations and me) have a time for a beer and talk to each other... both flights were ok. There were no problem during the transport in Istanbul and also the second flight was, also thanks to good Turkish red wine ok. And here were are, the group of 20 people in Kathmandu...finally
    Really? Never, ever thrown out your boarding pass with luggage note in Kathmandu, they'll check it during the leaving...
    But Nepal is so... peaceful and quiet. There's madness of Indian traffic but in combination with Nepal peaceful. Weird but comfortable...
    Our place is good it's old monastery with education for all people, old, young, everybody. we've met each other in the temple. There were a huge puja (celebration) today. To send all the badness away! So afternoon were spent with observation of festival and also of huge fire where was all badness and ego burned.
    In the evening we had Momos, finally amazing food from small local restaurant. It's really funny, you order a food and they are going to shop next to you to buy ingredients, everything is fresh.
    Our first day we ended with local beer and rum on the top of the roof of our hostel. Amazing...
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  • Day3

    I love the mornings with yoga. It's so powerful and also on the top of the monastery, magical. This day should be a relaxing. We received the invitation from monks to eat with them and visit puja! Such honor! So we spent morning with sitting around main hall and talking with monks and Sun above us. I don't have enough beautiful words for this...
    In the afternoon we should were with monks again but there was a change a plan, as always. So we went to Pashupatinath. It's a place in Kathmandu where dead people are burned with whole ceremony. It's hard to talk about it, on one side of the bridge you can see a couple of fires and you realize there are bodies inside and on the other side you see ceremony where family is saying goodbye. Very powerful.
    Well after kind of difficult afternoon was time for excellent dinner! And also our rooftop session.
    These days are like... dreams...
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  • Day2

    Time to practice...and drink

    February 15 in Nepal

    Mmm the first yoga lecture, 18 unknown people where some of them never practice yoga and some of them are also yoga instructors - difficult to set some middle level. But apparently it was good, everybody was happy so... And straight to the restaurant for breakfast! Well... It's terrible to go to small restaurant with huge group. We were eating for 2 hours! We had to wait so long! But as a reward - banana pancakes and masala tea, love it!
    After breakfast it was time to visit the local holy place Swayambhunath stupa. It's amazing place on the top of the hill, just check the pictures. I also refreshed my bargain skills and we had for 7 people from our group free entrance. bargaining is perfect sport for me!
    Aand we're hungry, again. So now to the city centre with line of 5 small cabs and directly to the garden restaurant. Such an amazing place! The only disadvantage is, again, the size of our group. We were waiting for the food for 3,5 hours.But nobody cares.
    We went to the city centre to do some shopping and it's time for welcome drink. I have to say, Budha bar in Kathmandu is one of the best bar I've ever been. Amazing mood, food, drinks, music, everything! What nobody expected was that we stay there for 5 hours and everybody will be dancing! And drinking so much. Actually we had to stop the party and take the people home because of tomorrow schedule. Such a big party Never happened before, my friend said...
    And as the perfect point in the end. We stopped 5 small cabs, took it and they were riding in one line on some secret road to our monastery and stopped perfectly on the point where we needed to - magical.
    So perfect day. But I'm quite getting worried if we'll be able to handle drinking every evening and waking up for a yoga lectures.
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  • Day7

    Die Einfuehrungstage

    October 17, 2016 in Nepal

    Wenn die Mutter des Hauses da ist, gibt es puenktlich 8 Uhr Fruehstueck. Heute Nudeln mit wuerziger Sosse. Um halb 11 haben wir wieder unsere Nepali Stunden. Heute geht’s um’s Einkaufen und Taxi/Bus fahren. Danach Mittagessen, heute dauert die Wartezeit nur eine halbe Stunde ;)
    Danach auf zum Swayambhunath Tempel. Er befindet sich am Westrand der Stadt, wir uns am Ostrand. Wir wagen wieder das Abenteuer “lokaler Bus“. Es wird fast 1,5 h dauern. Da der erste Bus ein Problem hat, muessen wir kurz vorm Ziel raus und werden in einen vollen Minibus umgesetzt. Angekommen, laufen wir einen Berg und viele Treppen hoch zum Tempel. Es ist der aelteste Tempel Nepals aus dem 5. Jh. Die alles sehenden Augen Buddhas schauen auf das Kathmandu Tal. Nicht nur Buddhisten sondern auch Hindus (=85% der Bevoelkerung, nur 12% Buddhisten) bekommen hier den Segen der Goettin Hariti (die alle Kinder beschuetzt). Von einer Terrasse hat man den ganzen Blick ueber die Stadt. Bergab auf der anderen Seite geht es ueber vieeele Treppen hinunter. Am Ende lassen wir uns von einem Hindi segnen (Foto). Zurueck waehlen wir ein Taxi, denn es ist spaeter als gedacht. Der Fahrer fragt tatsaechlich nach 2000 Rupie, am Ende zahlen wir 800 … In einer halben Stunde sind wir durch das Gewirr von Strassen wieder bei uns.
    Abendessen und dann wird gepackt…
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  • Day45

    Tag 12: Pokhara --> Kathmandu

    November 16, 2016 in Nepal

    Nach 7 Stunden Busfahrt bin ich erfolgreich wieder in Kathmandu angekommen. Im Hostel werde ich von den Angestellten freundlich empfangen. Schön wenn jemand wartet, wenn man nach Hause kommt :) Der Trek ist damit abgeschlossen. In zwei Tagen geht es nach Indien. Ich fliege mit Budda Air nach Bhadrapur. Von dort geht es mit dem Taxi zur Grenze. Morgen werde ich nochmal Wäsche waschen, Indische Rupien auftreiben und mich nochmal mit Leuten treffen, die ich kennengelernt habe.Read more

  • Day9

    Introductiedag 3

    October 17, 2016 in Nepal

    Dag 5
    Wat Emil, de andere Nederlandse vrijwilliger daar in huis, ons al had laten weten omdat hij hier al bijna 2 weken is… zodra moeders weer thuis is wordt er stipt om 8 geontbijt en geen excuus. Dus wij zitten braaf om 8 uur en tafel en krijgen deze morgen noedelen met een kruidige saus voorgeschoteld. Zo`n warme maaltijd als ontbijt blijft wennen…
    Om half 11 hebben we onze laatste Nepalese les. Deze keer gaat het over inkopen en bus/taxi rijden. Na het voltooien van onze les gaat het weer richting restaurant voor de lunch, waar we deze keer maar een half uur moeten wachten ;)

    Bezienswaardigheid die vandaag op het programma staat is de Swayambhunath tempel. Deze bevindt zich aan de westkant van de stad, en wij zijn aan de oostkant. We wagen ons weer aan het avontuur „lokale bus“. En een avontuur wordt het… we zullen er uiteindelijk anderhalf uur over doen! We moeten 1x overstappen en komen dan in een bus terecht die de eindbestemming niet haalt… Voor ons niet duidelijk wat het probleem is, maar er wordt een minibusje aangehouden en we moeten met z`n allen hierin verder… als sardientjes… Na aankomst bestijgen we de stijle berg met de vele treden die ons bij de tempel moet brengen. Het is de oudste Nepalese tempel uit het 5e jh. De allesziende ogen van Boeddha kijken over het Kathmandu dal. Niet alleen boeddhisten maar ook hindoeisten (85% van de bevolking, en boedhisten 12 %) komen hier de zegen van de godin Hariti (beschermt alle kinderen) halen. Vanaf het platform hebben we een prachtige blik over de stad. Bergaf gaan we langs de andere kant via veeeele treden. Beneden laten we ons door een hindoe zegenen (zie foto). Voor de terugweg besluiten we een taxi te nemen, want het is al later dan gedacht. Vooraf moet altijd over de prijs onderhandeld worden, en de goede man wil van ons 2000 roepies. Veel te veel… uiteindelijk komen we 800 overeen en zijn we in een half uur door de wir war van straatjes weer terug op onze bestemming.

    We pakken onze rugzakken, want morgen verhuizen :0)
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  • Day4

    I started out the day being very lazy.. I finished my book over an extended breakfast and then later lying in bed. When I finally pried myself out of bed I decided I would venture out to a different area of the city to see the Monkey Temple of Kathmandu.

    The temple is about a 40min walk from the hotel and was, as per usual, an adventure. I walked through areas that definitely were not intended for tourists, but was the only way to get there. Again, for anyone who's worried, I didn't feel unsafe a single time. Curious looks were the most I experienced, and I'm always sure to be aware of my surroundings, never walking and texting always looking ahead. Dirt roads, garbage in the streets, random sheep and roosters, kids playing everywhere and stray dogs running around. I do have to say though, it's an endearing place in a way. The people are very friendly.

    The temple can be seen from the streets so getting lost is nearly impossible. Upon arrival there was many local people praying and giving their respects to the gods. Today is after all a festival. I hear from a number of people that today is the day that will set the tone of their year. To have good business today is to have good luck for the year. So once again I took a local up on his offer of guiding me through the sights and I'm really glad that I did! I've gotten better at this whole negotiating thing too, but honestly, the amount of information that these guides have is worth paying a small fee for rather than following a book around.

    There's so much to say about the temple that I'm sure I won't cover it all. At the base are the feet of Buddha. You touch them and are marked with the "third eye" (red dot) on the forehead for good luck. From there you proceed up the stairs (everything clockwise, never counterclockwise!). There are 365 steps, one for each day of the year. Along the way there are temples with... What are they called again? Cylindrical, metal objects with words inscribed on them that you spin for good luck. In one temple I was told to walk around the spinning cylinder 3 times, make a wish, and it would come true. Along the way the 5 Buddhas were represented in stone and there were monkeys everywhere - hence the name Monkey Temple. Here they are allowed to run free as they are considered holy. Apparently they can be quite aggressive but I didn't see any of that myself.

    At the top of the 365 stairs was where the crowds began... Of course where the primary temple was. Square in shape and with eyes on all sides to watch all parts of the city. The views were great! I also tried lemons that were roasted in some kind of spicy sauce, tasty but hotter than I'm accustomed to. Quite an interesting place but so many people that I quickly moved on. From there we wandered down and around the backside of the temple. We stopped at a fountain where people were trying to toss coins into a basket at the base of a statue within a fountain. To get the coin into the basket means that your wish will come true. The guide also took me inside a temple dedicated to the flute where locals were worshipping. I felt quite honoured to be able to witness it, and they were not offended at all. They greated me with the traditional "namaste" and wished me a good day. Again, something that I wouldn't have dared to do on my own without a local showing me the way. I definitely prefer this quieter side of the temple where few tourists can be found. I find the bustle... Irritating at times. But I suppose that can't be avoided in a city centre, probably why I don't live in Vancouver ;) Oh, I almost forgot one of they key points of the temple, it's shared by Hindus and Buddhists alike.

    The guide also showed me the 3 Buddhas, which I hadn't even heard of before. Definitely glad I got to see those! Quite impressive, all encased in gold and towering over the people. There was also an engraving describing the life of Buddha from birth to death that I found interesting. From there he showed me back to the base of the temple stairs that I had walked up originally, thankfully because I wouldn't have found it on my own I suspect. I enjoyed the walk back with little to no people present, just monkeys eating oranges off the trees and staring at us curiously.

    Back in the city, my guide (Prakash) showed me to a local place to eat which was great! They served chow Mein and some kind of spiced meat and vegetable dish that I would compare to a spicy orange chicken.. It's the only thing I can think of that is similar! I'm noticing that it's very easy to be a vegetarian in this city, possibly even a vegan. Every place I've been to has asked if I eat meat or not which I appreciate. The meal was incredibly priced, and makes me realize just how overpriced Thamel is. Which is still half to a third of the price of eating out in Vancouver...

    From lunch I went back to the hotel fully intending to rest and take a break from the hustle and bustle but I found myself in too good of a mood from such a great day that I grabbed my keyboard and went out to find a place to write this entry. Next "footprint" will tell where ;)
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  • Day137

    Tempel Swayambunath, Kathmandu

    September 19, 2014 in Nepal

    Dieser Tempel liegt etwas ausserhalb auf einem Berg und wird auch Affentempel genannt. Dutzende von Affen klettern auf den Wegen zum Tempel rum.
    Die Tempelanlage selber besteht aus einer Stupa, einer Pagode, zahlreicher kleiner Tempel, usw. Ich bin fast erschlagen von dieser Vielfalt. Denn dazwischen hat es noch 20 Souvenirstände und von allen prasselt "Om mani padme hum" auf uns nieder.

You might also know this place by the following names:

Swayambhunath, Swayambunath

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